Chris Hansen wrote: ↑
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:13 pm
Also you are taking bits and pieces of Wyatt's statements out of context. The text has Baal die and rise.
That is all that is needed for the existence of the template.
The problem is that it is not a belief about Baal dying and rising but about the ascension of a new king.
This, again, is irrelevant for my point. You may have perfectly valid points which rely upon how the template was interpreted
, but my point is independent of that.
In our own day, some Christians interpret Jesus' death and resurrection in a completely nonliteral sense, while others (most?) interpret it quite literally (without necessarily denying certain figurative meanings to it). Both kinds are reading basically the same source materials, so far as origins are concerned (the NT and other early works). But they are each free to interpret
those source materials very differently.
In the case at hand, the suggestion I am toying with is that both Ba'al and Jesus reflect a culturally available template or pattern involving the descent, obedience, death, and resurrection of a divine figure. The parallels are obvious; they ought to be explored, and there is no valid way to wave them away simply on the basis that those who composed the Ba'al narrative may have taken them figuratively while the earliest Christians may have taken them literally (a point which would have to be demonstrated, not assumed).
If you are going to read Wyatt's work, don't quote mine it, that is a fallacy.
I plead innocent to the charge of quote mining. I quoted, nothing more. My position requires nothing more than that the death and resurrection described in the text be "real" so far as the text level is concerned, and you have agreed that this is so.
It is completely irrelevant whether or not Baal dies and rises in the narrative. The narrative may have absolutely no belief or relevance to the beliefs of the people.
I am sure that there are approaches to the evidence in which this perfectly valid distinction matters, but it does not matter to the point that I am making. For my point, a different distinction is required, one by which it is of little moment whether the originators of the Ba'al myth took it literally or not; what matters is the possible existence of a pattern that could potentially be employed for other purposes (much in the same way that the Christ story is employed in literature to create the so-called Christ figure). I am not trying to trace a direct line of worshipers from Ba'al to Jesus, though I would not presumptuously rule that out. Rather, I am wondering whether the dying and rising of a divine figure which we see in the Ba'al story might not bear some kind of relation to the dying and rising of a divine figure in the Jesus story. The parallels are there to investigate; to deny them would be madness. I am not saying that the outcome is certain, either. I used to have a pet theory (of the most tentative nature, mind you) which depended upon there being a connection of some kind, but I no longer hold to that theory. Yet the similarities are still there, and I still wonder why that is.
It is possible that I misunderstood your original point for bringing up Wyatt in the first place; you seem to be mainly going for a position in which there were no worshipers on the ground who thought that Ba'al had literally died and risen again, whereas I think I thought that you were denying all possible connection, even in a literary or otherwise formal sense. And, from my perspective, you have definitely misconstrued the nature of my claim. Hopefully this post will be a step toward clearing up the confusion.